(Skinny) Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

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I hate when baked goods are advertised as “skinny.”  It’s a baked good! It’s dessert! What is actually skinny about that? Often a few ingredients will be substituted for healthier options (such as egg whites for eggs or an artificial sweetener for white sugar), but does that really make something skinny? I doubt it.

Although I think it’s a scam more than the truth in most cases, bakers of this day and age have found some incredible substitutes for unhealthy baking ingredients.  For example, common supplements include replacing oil with applesauce, yogurt, or tofu! Cool, right?

This loaf of bread is one of those recipes that was originally advertised as “skinny.”  While I cannot fully argue whether or not this bread deserves that title, there are several healthier ingredient substitutes in this recipe than in most.  For example, this bread calls for only 1 tablespoon of butter, no oil, egg whites instead of eggs, and 3 whole bananas! So far so good! This loaf is also really delicious (perk number 2!). Granted, I am a huge fan of the chocolate and banana combination, but even if I wasn’t, I think this loaf of bread is worth a try. So who cares if it’s “skinny” or not? It has chocolate chips and looks delicious. What’s not to love?

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Ingredients

  • 3 very ripe bananas
  • 1 Tablespoon reduced fat butter
  • ½ cup unsweetened applesauce OR you can use 1 6 ounce container of low carb yogurt
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup white sugar (or splenda)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 ½ cups whole wheat white flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ⅓ cup semi-sweet dark chocolate mini chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 330˚F and spray two medium-sized loaf pans with non-stick baking spray, set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, mash the bananas using a large spoon.
  3. In a large bowl, beat together he butter, applesauce, vanilla, and sugars until creamy. Add in the egg whites and mashed bananas, and beat with a mixer for 2-3 minutes.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Gently mix the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients, using a whisk, until completely combined. Fold the chocolate chips in and transfer the batter to the two prepared loaf pans.
  5. Bake for 28-32 minutes, or until a fork can be cleanly inserted in the middle. Enjoy!

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Notes and Tips!:

  • Source: Skinny Mom
  • Store wrapped in aluminum foil to keep fresh.
  •  If you like this recipe, don’t miss these other delicious breads from ‘a rented kitchen!’:

 

The World’s Best (Vegan) Fudge Brownies

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Vegan baking is the best. Why? Because there are no eggs in the batter, and thus no reason why you should not or cannot lick the bowl clean. Not like eggs usually stop me anyhow (probably dumb, I know), but at least now no one can accuse you of being absolutely crazy for wanting to eat the batter straight!

Another thing that’s the best? These brownies. Seriously. I have tried a lot of brownies in my day, and made a lot of brownies in my day. These guys are hands down my absolute favorite. They are rich, extremely moist, and seem more genuinely chocolatey than any prepared brownie mix you’ll ever try (thank you cocoa powder!) They also do not need to be redeemed with a scoop of ice cream like some brownies. (However, I’m always down for a scoop of ice cream!)

Give these guys a try, and I promise you you’ll never want to bake another brownie ever again.

 

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Ingredients:

  • 2 ¼ cups of whole wheat flour
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  •  ½ cup chocolate chips
  • ½ cup over ripe banana
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • 4 teaspoons apple cider vinegar

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 340˚ F.  Prepare an 11 x 7 inch (or relatively similar pan) by greasing lightly with olive oil and dusting with whole-wheat flour.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients (flour through cocoa powder) and whisk together. Then stir in the chocolate chips.
  3. In a medium-sized bowl, using a large spoon, mash the banana until there are no significant chunks.
  4. Add the olive oil, water, and apple cider vinegar to the bowl and whisk well.
  5. Combine the wet and dry ingredients, mixing until completely combined.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the top looks cooked and the brownies are at your desired level of gooey versus cakey.
  7. Enjoy!

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Notes and Tips!:

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Pancakes

All right, I know the title says “cookie” in the name, so you are probably assuming this is not a healthy recipe- but read that ingredient list again! As far as healthy and filling breakfast options go, these pancakes are an excellent choice. With peanut butter for protein, flax seed for fiber, and banana and agave in place of a sweetener- you are without a doubt starting your morning off right! Or who’s to say breakfast for dinner isn’t a great idea?!

Regardless of when, I hope you do try these pancakes, and I hope you enjoy them as much as my house did. Pancakes for dinner might be just the thing for this cold rainy day. I’m just sayin’!

Ingredients:

  • 1 ripe medium banana
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 flax egg (1 Tablespoon ground flaxseed + 2.5 Tablespoon hot water)
  • Pinch salt
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 Tablespoon peanut butter
  • 1 Tablespoon canola or coconut oil
  • 3 Tablespoons almond milk (or sub other milk)
  • 1 Tablespoon agave.
  • ½ cup rolled oats*
  • ¼ cup whole wheat flour*
  • ¼ cup semisweet chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat a skillet to medium heat (300- 325˚F) with a drizzle of olive oil in the pan.
  2. Prepare the flax egg by adding 2-3 tablespoons hot water to the ground flaxseed in a small cup. Allow the mixture to let sit for 3-5 minutes, or until gelatinous.
  3. In a medium sized bowl, mash the banana with the baking powder.
  4. Add the agave, oil, salt, vanilla, peanut butter, almond milk, and flax egg to the bowl. Stir until completely mixed.
  5. Once the wet ingredients are combined, add in the oats and flour- stirring until just blended. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  6. Using a ¼ measuring cup, pour small rounds of the batter onto the heated skillet and cook for 2-4 minutes on each side- until golden brown and cooked all the way through.

 

Notes and Tips!:

  • Yield: 5-6 small pancakes, serves 2
  • Gluten free: substitute gluten free oats and flour in for the rolled oats and whole wheat flour.
  • Vegan: use dairy-free chocolate chips instead of regular chips!
  • Feel free to substitute almond butter for the peanut butter! It has a more mild taste, but I always avoid almond butter due to a nut allergy in the house.
  • Source: Minimalist Baker
  • If you like this recipe, you should check out my Apple Spice Pancakes and Baked Fruit and Chocolate Oatmeal!

One Week of Summer Treats to Beat the Heat: Chocolate Covered Banana Bites

Welcome to July! Hard to believe that the summer is flying by this quickly. To no one’s surprise, it looks like another steamy day here in Viriginia. But have no fear, I have another quick treat to help cool you off in this stifling heat. These guys are one of my absolute favorite summer snacks- they’re chocolate, fruity, and refreshingly cold. Give them a try! It’s a great way to use up a few bananas before they go bad, and a healthy snack that you don’t have to feel guilty about.

Ingredients:

  • 1-3 bananas
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • ½ cup butterscotch chips
  • 1 Tablespoon milk (optional)

Directions:

  1. Peel the banana and slice into several pieces- each about ½ an inch thick.
  2. Melt the chocolate and butterscotch chips in a medium sized sauce pan over medium- low heat, stirring constantly. (I added a tablespoon of milk to help soften it up, but that is optional)
  3. Once the chocolate is completely melted remove it from the stove top. If you keep the chocolate over heat too long it will lose that smooth consistency and burn.
  4. Using a spoon, dip each banana piece into the chocolate and coat completely.
  5. Transfer each banana bite to either a baking sheet or a piece of Tupperware covered in wax paper. If you place the banana bites in a piece of Tupperware, stack the banana pieces in between wax paper sheets to prevent the pieces from freezing to one another.
  6. Freeze and enjoy the next day

Notes and Tips:

  • This recipe is an excellent way to use up bananas that are starting to fade. If your bananas get soft or spotty but you don’t want to hold onto them long enough to make banana bread- use them for this! Once they’ve been frozen you’ll never know that it once was a soft banana.
  • Adjust the chocoalte amount as desired based on the number of bananas you use. If you plan to use 3 or more, or only one, you may want to melt more or less. And if you have left over melted chocolate, don’t throw it away! Make chocolate covered pretzels and freeze them too! They’re addicting.
  • For a lighter version- lose the chocolate completely! Simply peel your banana, wrap it whole in a piece of aluminum foil, freeze, and enjoy the next day! Waaa la! A banana popsicle! Do note however that the longer you leave a banana freezing the less flavor it has, so I recommed freezing a banana for a snack intended for the next few days.